Senate queries NHIS over N122bn fixed in commercial bank without FG’s approval

The Senate Public Accounts Committee has queried the National Health Issuance Scheme over N122bn fixed in an unnamed commercial bank.

The committee admitted that the Auditor General of the Federation approved the deposit but demanded details of the N3.7bn interest which accrued to the money.

The Senate Public Accounts Committee hinged its decision to query the NHIS on the 2015 report of the Auditor General of the Federation, which was submitted to the National Assembly.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, expressed dissatisfaction with N122bn fixed in the commercial bank by the agency.

He asked the NHIS to submit the statement of account concerning the money in the commercial bank, next Tuesday.

The Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof Nasir Sambo, however, told the panel that the NHIS Act empowers the agency to earn interest on its investment.

He said Part 4 (Section 11) of the NHIS Act empowered it to earn interest on its investment. He said the scheme was not being funded by the Federal Government.

Urhoghide disagreed with the NHIS boss over his submission and said that the interest rate from the N122bn fixed was supposed to be remitted to the federation account.

He said, “The committee is interested in getting the statement of the account.

“We want to know the details of the accrued N3.7bn by latest Tuesday; we want the statement of account on the investment.”

The Auditor General’s query read, “The investment of N122bn fixed deposit’s interest of N3.7bn was not remitted to the consolidated revenue fund.

“Four vehicles of the scheme were taken away by the former officers of the scheme. N161m was for consulting without evidence.”

The NHIS boss has, however, promised to produce the documents supporting the N161m consultancy fee at the next sitting of the committee.